Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Reviews, Rants, and Randomness

Movies:

"Open Water": Turkey, turkey, turkey. Thoughtless, unpleasant to watch... It would seem that the latest variation on "stupid people being unhappy" is "stupid people dying slowly and stupidly." This movie might be scary if you are seriously shark-phobic, but otherwise it is just dumb.

"Hero": The subtitles went a little too fast, particularly in the beginning of the movie, but this is WONDERFUL. It is everything the critics claimed "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was, but never quite achieved. Jet Li may not be the actor Chow Yun-Fat is, but the plot was more consistent in scope. That is, the effects seemed more appropriate to the story.


Rant:

Both NASA and Boeing are expending significant resources on the trying to develop a flying car. This just frustrates the hell out of me, since the goal is so obviously unattainable. There isn't enough air for the traffic we have now, for gods sake, and these idiots want to increase it by a factor of 1000 or more? For an idea of the problem, consider replacing all of the cars in a typical rush hour with hovercraft of the same size. For that matter, consider taking a hovercraft through an expressway cloverleaf at even half the speed your car does it, and then think about filling the sky with vehicles that are that sloppy to control, piloted by the marginally experienced, in three dimentions... Anyone for aluminum showers? Idiocy.


Randomness:

History is written by the stupid. While en route to looking up something else, I came across an essay that argued that the widespread idea that people believed the world was flat prior to Columbus is flat out wrong. Educated people in post-Hellenic culture had been taught that the world was round since the days of Pythagoras. (Consider that, although the Inquisition nearly executed Galileo for teaching a heliocentric solar system, the church-approved Ptolemaic geocentric system fully accepted round planets, and a round earth.) It turns out that the first recorded mention of widespread belief in a flat earth, at least among the educated, was in an 1828 humor piece written by Washington Irving. A few years later an anti-Catholic Frenchman picked up the idea, and started spreading it, but I have no doubt that it was Irving who put the idea of "those ignorant people of old" into the common psyche.

Uncle Hyena
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